UCAN Spirituality Catholic Church News

The Name of the Lord

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Simone Weil

The entire virtue of religious practices can be conceived from the Buddhist tradition concerning the recitation of the name of the Lord.

It is said that the Buddha made a vow to raise up to himself all those who recite his name with the desire to be saved by him, into the Land of Purity; and that because of this vow the recitation of the name of the Lord really has the virtue of transforming the soul. Religion is nothing else but this promise of God.

Every religious practice, every rite, every liturgy is a form of the recitation of the name of the Lord, and must in principle really have virtue, the virtue of saving anyone devoted to it with desire. Every religion pronounces the name of the Lord in its own language. Most often, it is better for people to name God in their own native language rather than in a foreign language.

Apart from exceptions, the soul is incapable of completely abandoning itself in the moment if it must impose on itself even a minor effort in searching for words in a strange language, even when they know it well….

A change of the religion is for the soul like a change of language for the writer. Not every religion, it is true, is equally apt for the correct recitation of the name of the Lord. Certain ones, without a doubt, are very imperfect intermediaries…. But in a general, the hierarchy of religions is a very difficult thing to discern, nearly impossible, perhaps completely impossible. For a religion is known from the inside.